The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the Atlanta Archdiocese issued a memo today criticizing Komen grants to Planned Parenthood to support breast screenings even though the clinics also provide abortions, which are not only against Church teaching, but are also considered to be a cause of the very breast cancer the charity is fighting.
Even though the Greater Atlanta affiliate of the Komen fund claims they give no money to Planned Parenthood, the archdiocese claimed it found postings on Facebook by local Komen groups that indicated they were "working behind the scenes" to encourage national Komen leadership to resume funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Until recently, donations to the Greater Atlanta affiliate of the Komen fund did not constitute a direct cooperation with evil, because none of the money they raised went to Planned Parenthood,” the archdiocese said.
However, the archdiocese has now directed its one million Catholics in North Georgia to stop supporting Komen.
The timing of the announcement could not have come at a worse time. Not only is Komen fund-raising suffering record losses since the debacle over Planned Parenthood funding earlier this year, but October is breast cancer awareness month, a time when they hoped to increase their fundraising.
In response, the Atlanta Komen affiliate said in a statement that it had never given funding or received requests for funding from Planned Parenthood Southeast. “Komen Atlanta remains committed to ensuring that all women, especially the underserved, in our community have access to lifesaving breast cancer screening and support services,” the statement said. “Any decrease in support directly impacts our ability to serve these women.”
Kay Scott, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said the archdiocese's directive “feels mean-spirited” and accused the Church of once again putting women last.
“There are a lot of positive things to help women be informed,” Scott said. “The archdiocese has not offered anything of its own. Just women — last again.”
However, Pat Chivers of the Archdiocese of Atlanta says the new directive does not preclude people from getting involved in other breast cancer charities, as long as they’re not affiliated with Komen.
“Any Catholic parish that was in the planning stages for an event in support of Komen will be asked to pursue another avenue of breast cancer education and awareness,” she said.
Should Komen decide to end its affiliation with Planned Parenthood, Chivers said, then “we would reinstate our support for Komen.”
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